From Cher to Sinatra: A look at big concerts at Daytona's Ocean Center over the years

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When comedian Katt Williams brings his "2023 and Me" tour to the Ocean Center in August, it will represent a relative rarity among the trade shows, graduation ceremonies and corporate events that have dominated the county-run convention center's schedule in recent years.

It also represents what could be the start of a new era of Ocean Center concerts, after Volusia County Council members gave the green light at a meeting in April to exploring potential opportunities to book live entertainment at the venue.

"“I really want this to happen, I want us to bring concerts in,” County Chair Jeff Brower said at the April 4 meeting. “Not just for our locals. We want to bring people to Daytona, put heads in beds."

In case you missed it: Comedian Katt Williams is headed to Daytona Beach: What you need to know

Since its opening in 1985, the Ocean Center has built a long list A-list stars that have performed in the convention center's arena, including multiple appearances by Cher and Elton John in addition to shows by legends ranging from George Jones to Frank Sinatra.

Here's a look at the stars that have performed on the Ocean Center stage, according to county records:

1985

  • Amy Grant, Oct. 3

  • John Denver, Oct. 5

  • Beach Boys, Oct. 8

  • Heart, Oct. 26

  • Foreigner, Nov. 26

  • Alabama, Nov. 29

  • Starship, Dec. 6

  • Kenny Rogers, Dec. 12

  • Jimmy Buffett, Dec. 21

1986

  • Statler Brothers, Feb. 20

  • George Jones, March 12

  • The Firm, March 17

  • Anne Murray, March 29

  • Pointer Sisters, April 4

  • Barbara Mandrell, April 5

  • Tom Jones, May 7

  • Willie Nelson, May 9

  • Ricky Skaggs/Judds, June 6

  • Hank Williams, Jr., June 22

  • Lover Boy, July 24

  • Billy Ocean, July 26

  • Stevie Nicks, Aug. 8

  • Steve Winwood, Sept. 23

  • John Fogerty, Oct. 24

  • Engelbert Humperdinck, Nov. 2

  • Neil Young, Nov. 5

  • Stevie Wonder, Nov. 14

  • Jimmy Buffett, Nov. 15

  • George Thorogood, Nov. 18

  • Bad Company, Dec. 5

  • Julio Iglesias, Dec. 6

  • Alice Cooper, Dec. 29

  • Greg Allman/Dickie Betts, Dec. 31

1987

Crosby, Stills & Nash, pictured at a 2009 concert in New York. are among the acts that have performed at the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach since its opening in 1985.
Crosby, Stills & Nash, pictured at a 2009 concert in New York. are among the acts that have performed at the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach since its opening in 1985.
  • Crosby, Stills & Nash, Jan. 9

  • The Pretenders, Jan. 28

  • Huey Lewis & The News, Feb. 4

  • Myron Floren, Feb. 27

  • Reba McEntire, March 13

  • Wayne Newton, March 17

  • Kansas, April 23

  • Willie Nelson, May 30

  • London Symphony Orchestra, Aug. 8

  • Stryper & TNT, Aug. 11

  • REO Speedwagon, Aug. 29

  • Ace Frehley's Comet, Sept. 24

  • Tina Turner, Nov. 12

  • Alabama, Nov. 27

  • Andy Williams, Dec. 11

  • Heart, Dec. 20

1988

  • Guy Lombardo, Jan. 3

  • Engelbert Humperdinck, Jan. 22

  • Ronnie James Dio, Jan. 27

  • Hank Williams, Jr., Jan. 29

  • Stars of Lawrence Welk, Feb. 7

  • Linda Ronstadt, March 13

  • Whitesnake, March 23

  • Cheap Trick, March 25

  • Dwight Yoakam, June 21

  • Yngwie Malmsteen, July 2

  • Jets, July 21

  • Iron Maiden, Aug. 4

  • Tiffany, Aug. 13

  • James Taylor, Aug. 20

  • Robert Palmer, Sept. 8

  • Poison/Lita Ford, Oct. 12

  • Barbara Mandrell, Nov. 11

  • Moody Blues, Nov. 12

  • Slayer, Dec. 1

  • Conway Twitty/Loretta Lynn/George Jones, Dec. 10

1989

  • Stars of Lawrence Welk, Feb. 5

  • Metallica, Feb. 11

  • Mike & The Mechanics, March 23

  • BCC Surface Concert, April 1

  • Ratt, April 27

  • London Symphony Orchestra, April 28

  • Cinderella, Sept. 4

  • Kinks, Sept. 30

  • John Denver, Dec. 3

  • Billy Squier, Dec. 16

1990

  • Oakridge Boys, May 6

  • Hall & Oates, July 3

  • Tex Beneke, Oct. 13

  • Merle Haggard/Conway Twitty/George Jones, Nov, 23

  • Jimmy Dorsey Dinner/Dance, Dec. 31

1991

Willie Nelson, pictured at a 2022 show in Texas, is among the acts that have performed at the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach since its opening in 1985.
Willie Nelson, pictured at a 2022 show in Texas, is among the acts that have performed at the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach since its opening in 1985.
  • INXS, Feb. 3

  • Charlie Daniels, March 7

  • Alabama, May 9

  • London Symphony Orchestra, Aug. 9

  • Warrant, Aug. 21

  • Turtles/Gary Lewis, Oct. 13

  • Allman Brothers/Little Feat, Oct. 30

  • Willie Nelson/Waylon Jennings, Nov. 17

  • Perry Como, Dec. 19

1992

  • Michael Bolton, Jan. 30

  • Conway Twitty/George Jones/Vern Gosdin, Feb. 29

  • Travis Tritt/T. Graham Brown, March 5

  • Randy Travis/Alan Jackson/Trish Yearwood, April 4

  • Tesla/Firehouse, May 26

  • Moody Blues, July 31

  • MC Hammer, Sept. 2

  • Association/Andy Childs, Sept. 10

  • KISS, Oct. 29

1993

  • Jam Splash, April 2-3

  • George Jones/Tracy Lawrence/Confederate Railroad, April 8

  • London Symphony Orchestra, Aug. 7

  • Marty Stuart/Sawyer Brown, Sept. 9

  • Oldies Concert (Gehl Group), Sept. 22

  • Billy Joe Royal/John Conlee, Nov. 10

1994

Legendary crooner Frank Sinatra, pictured in 1972, is among the acts that have performed at the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach since it opened in 1985.
Legendary crooner Frank Sinatra, pictured in 1972, is among the acts that have performed at the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach since it opened in 1985.
  • Frank Sinatra, Jan. 27

  • Pantera, July 2

  • Stone Temple Pilots, Sept. 4

  • Bowser's Rock & Roll Party, Sept. 13

  • Kenny G, Oct. 1

  • Tracy Lawrence/Marty Stuart/Neal McCoy, Oct. 15

1995

  • Clint Black/Lorrie Morgan, Feb. 10

  • Jam Splash 95/Flava Fest 95, April 8

  • John Michael Montgomery, April 22

  • Clay Walker/Faith Hill, July 7

  • London Symphony Orchestra, Aug. 5

  • Hootie & the Blowfish, Sept. 10

  • Oldies Concert, Sept. 17

  • Alabama, Sept. 30

  • Blues Traveler, Nov. 7

  • Confederate Railroad, Dec. 6

1996

  • AC/DC, Jan. 22

  • Wynonna/Blackhawk, May 17

  • Moody Blues, June 8

  • Meatloaf, July 19

  • Lou Christie's Classic Rock-n-Roll, Sept. 21

1997

  • Shirley Caesar, Jan. 3

  • Glenn Miller Orchestra, Feb. 6

  • ZZ Top & George Thorogood, May 11

  • London Symphony Orchestra, Aug. 2

  • Fabian's Goodtime Rock-n-Roll, Sept. 20

  • Live/Luscious Jackson, Sept. 27

  • Glenn Miller Orchestra, Oct. 3

1998

  • LeAnn Rimes/Bryan White, Feb, 6

1999

  • Bob Dylan & The Brian Setzer Orchestra, Jan. 29

  • Alabama/Terri Clark, Feb. 6

  • London Symphony Orchestra, Aug. 7

  • Andy Childs, Sept. 24

  • Elton John, Oct. 6

2000

Britney Spears, pictured here at the Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway in 2001, is among the acts that have performed at the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach since it opened in 1985. .
Britney Spears, pictured here at the Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway in 2001, is among the acts that have performed at the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach since it opened in 1985. .
  • Engelbert Humperdinck, Jan. 28

  • Roger Whittaker, Feb. 11

  • Italian American Music Festival, Feb. 12

  • Flava Fest Black Achievement & Music Fest, March 31-April 1

  • Britney Spears, April 2

2001

  • Kenny Rogers, Jan. 5

  • Italian American Music Festival, Jan. 24

  • Anne Murray, Feb. 24

  • Journey/Peter Frampton, June 17

  • London Symphony Orchestra, July 28

2002

  • Debbie Reynolds, Jan. 22

  • Kenny Chesney, Feb. 2

  • Italian American Music Festival, Feb. 3

  • Kenny Rogers, Feb. 9

  • Tool, Aug. 5

  • Allman Brothers Band, Sept. 15

  • Legends Alive Benefit Concert, Nov. 14

2003

  • Alan Jackson, April 13

  • Def Leppard, April 30

  • London Symphony Orchestra, July 26

  • Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Aug. 21

  • Toby Keith/Black Shelton, Oct. 2

  • Bachman Turner Overdrive/Bad Company, Oct. 19

  • Cher's Living Proof Farewell Tour, Oct. 20

2004

  • Cher's Living Proof Farewell Tour 2004, Sept. 22

2005

  • London Symphony Orchestra, July 30

2006

  • Montgomery Gentry, Oct. 13

2007

  • London Symphony Orchestra, July 28

2009

  • London Symphony Orchestra, April 25

2010

  • Brad Paisley, Aug. 12

  • Usher, Sept. 2-3

  • Jonas Brothers, Sept. 4-5

  • Elton John w/Leon Russell, Nov. 20

2011

  • Zac Brown Band, Feb. 29

2017

  • Csordas Tibi Hungarian Concert, Jan. 7

This article originally appeared on The Daytona Beach News-Journal: Daytona Ocean Center concerts have ranged from Cher to Sinatra